Information and Privacy News - Information and Privacy Commission NSW
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May 2012  
Copyright and personal information: access to information is still the focus, when in the public interest
Copyright and the disclosure of personal information are two distinct issues that are causing challenges for some local councils.

Councils have open access information obligations under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act) and Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009. However, particular areas of concern can arise about the release of personal information, and issues around copyright.

The key issues, and the OIC's position, are summarised below:

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Fast Track Negotiation Skills Training
As part of the IPC’s upcoming 'Creating Open Government' conference, the IPC will be making available training by the Queensland Office of the Information Commissioner to deliver its ‘Fast Track Negotiation Skills’ course on 23 and 24 August 2012.

The two day training program was developed for agencies, in consultation with agency practitioners, and is specifically tailored to the information rights context. It equips right to information officers (RIOs) with the skills to facilitate access to information and deal with any difficult requests or conduct.

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PAW officially launched in NSW
Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) was officially launched in NSW on Friday 27 April 2012 by the NSW Privacy Commissioner, Dr Elizabeth Coombs, and the NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice, the Hon. Greg Smith MP.

The focus of PAW this year is on children and teenagers to get them thinking about protecting their privacy and the consequences of their online behaviour.

“Today’s technologies are changing the way young people are interacting with others and this exposes them to a number of risks such as cyber-bullying, identity theft and other security risks. They tend to have a relaxed attitude when it comes to privacy but the risks are very real and we need to educate them on the importance of protecting themselves,” said Dr Coombs.

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Project Eyewatch – harnessing the power of social media
The NSW Police Force (NSWPF) has come up with an innovative way to utilise social media to engage with the community and give members of the public an opportunity to participate with their local Police in active crime prevention.

Project Eyewatch is the NSWPF’s response to relaunch the traditional Neighbourhood Watch using Facebook to meet the demands of today’s online environment. It operates on the basis that community information is the greatest asset in policing and that strong relationships with and participation from the community should be harnessed.

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National Law Week 2012
National Law week this year is running from Monday 14 May until Sunday 20 May 2012.

The IPC will be taking part in three expos at National Law Week: Martin Place, Parramatta and Blacktown.

IPC staff will be present to help directly answer questions about people's privacy and access rights, and promote the services of IPC. We will also have resources and other promotional material to distribute to expo attendees. All members of the public are welcome to come and have a chat to us.
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The PILCH walk for justice is on again
This year’s Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) Walk for Justice will take place on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 from 7.30 am. The Walk for Justice is a reminder of the need for free, quality legal services and a valuable fundraising opportunity for PILCH.

Sydney participants will be walking for justice in a scenic loop along the Botanic Gardens Foreshore.

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Message from the Commissioners

L to R: Information Commissioner Deirdre O'Donnell and Privacy Commissioner Dr Elizabeth Coombs

Our focus this month is on 'engagement'. We have been involved in a series of constructive and practical dialogues with key stakeholders that assist us in better understanding the specific issues agencies face and help us in devising appropriate responses - whether through guidance, targeted training, or the sharing of practical examples of how to solve common problems.

A group of practitioners have generously offered to help us road test materials and have given some very useful feedback about our work. With their assistance we will develop a consultative mechanism that should produce good outcomes.

We have also had a dynamic dialogue with Department of Planning and Infrastructure staff about how privacy and open access issues, which raise competing priorities, can make service delivery and administration complex.

Sharing stories about good practice and problem-solving approaches will help other agencies wrestling with these same issues. We therefore reiterate our request to our newsletter readers for these stories.

And finally, the launch of Privacy Awareness Week and the personal anecdotes generated from that event have reinforced how the risks and opportunities of the online world are relevant to our everyday lives. These conversations are important in helping us as Commissioners maintain our focus on how best to assist agencies and the public benefit from the protections and rights offered by NSW privacy and access legislation.

Upcoming Events
Privacy Awareness Week
29 April – 5 May 2012

National Law Week
14 May - 20 May 2012

PILCH Walk for Justice
15 May 2012

IPC conference
21 – 22 August 2012
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oic   oic website
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